Do You Make These Five Common Postcard Marketing Mistakes?

postcard image

Photo: eperales

Have you run a b2b postcard marketing campaign, spent a lot of time and effort to send it, only to have it flop?

Someone asked recently why their postcard campaign failed. It turned out they had made some very common postcard marketing mistakes.

The company sells custom-painted decorative tiles.  They sent out 250 standard-size postcards with three pictures of the product on the front.

On the back, were bullet points promoting the products’ features.  These included the low prices, the ability to print 3-D images, durability, and the fact that they could imprint any size image on their tiles.

They were hoping people would call and want to buy their tiles right away.

The tiles were unique, the product was high quality, but the campaign didn’t do well.

What went wrong?

1. Asking for too much

The first marketing mistake that they made was asking for too much.  They wanted people to buy, based solely on a postcard.

Instead, use postcards to generate leads and interest, rather than asking for a sale right away. Offer something that’s easy to say “yes” to, preferably something either free or low-cost.  Give them a guide or a checklist or something with a high perceived value in return for contacting you.

2. No authority or trust

A postcard arriving out of the blue is not likely to make a sale unless it comes from a well-known business or it’s being sent to pre-existing customers. If they don’t know you, they are not likely to trust you enough to buy something immediately.  You have to gain their trust first.  This can be through an entry-level offer, or a series of postcards or mailings (depending on your budget) offering useful tips.

3. Not enough information

A better choice for a direct sale would be a lumpy mail package with a sample (if possible), a letter, and an offer of a guide with free decorating tips. The postcard didn’t have enough space to make the case for buying something high-end, customized, and expensive.

4. Selling the grass seed instead of the lawn

Part of the problem here was focusing on features, rather than benefits.  They talked about price and durability, rather than the joy of showing off and the pleasure their customers receive from looking at their new tile artwork.

The important thing isn’t what people actually get; it’s how they feel about it that counts.

5. No proof

There wasn’t any outside proof of what the company was claiming.  The entire postcard was self-focused, rather than outwardly focused.  Testimonials from happy customers would have helped prove what the company was saying.  They also help reinforce that the business is trustworthy and credible.

What you say about yourself isn’t as believable as what someone else says about you.

2 thoughts on “Do You Make These Five Common Postcard Marketing Mistakes?

    • Very true. I’ve seen lots of campaigns fail because they forget to think about what the prospect wanted (rather than what the company wanted).

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